For a successful e-commerce business, you need to choose the right platform. Magento vs Shopify has been one of the longest-running debates. Both these platforms have their fan base to defend them which makes it even harder to choose.
There is no doubt that both of them are great choices for businesses of all size. But when it comes to choosing one for your website, you need an in-depth research. You cannot take a shot in the dark with this, it will decide the future of your online business.
In this article, we will compare Magento vs Shopify on the basis of:
Note: Since Magento 1 support is ending soon, we highly recommend you to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2. Also, this article is a comparison between Magento 2 and Shopify.
Magento vs Shopify
1. Ease of Use
Starting an online business is already a stressful task. Selecting a platform adds to that stress. You need to choose the one that is easy to use and doesn’t involve a whole new learning curve.
Between these two platforms, Magento is an open-source platform and Shopify is a proprietary commercial product. They are completely opposite of each other when it comes to usage. Also, Magento uses PHP whereas Shopify uses Liquid as their coding language.
Shopify offers a simple and user-friendly interface. Even if you have zero technical know-how, you would be able to work with it quite well.
- Drag and drop editor
- Ease of inserting images
- Simple ways to set up payment options
- Easy customization
For beginners, Magento can look a little scary at first. It does involve a learning curve as you will need to know certain terms to use this platform. For beginners and first-time users, there can be some stumbling blocks.
- It facilities flexibility
- Offers a wide range of customization
- Provide you with an extensive user guide
Themes help you represent your uniqueness and your brand. They are a framework for your website. It is very important that the platform you choose offers a wide variety of themes. Otherwise, there will be a high chance that your website might end up looking monotonous.
Shopify offers a wide range of themes. You can get some for free but you will have to pay for most of them. Even for the price point, these might be a little costly for some people. But once you have your theme, Shopify offers easy user interface and customization.
- Mobile Optimized Theme
- Over 100 Theme options
- Allows you to easily add social media feeds
Magento has a huge list of the responsive theme, both free and paid. You will get great customization option even as a beginner in free themes. Also, if you decide the buy a theme, they are not very costly.
- Drag and Drop option in theme manager
- Offers more flexible Customization
- Allows you to add animations
3. Apps and Add-Ons
Themes just make up the look and feel of your website, you need your website to have functions. Both the platforms offer an app store and extensions. Most of these apps are just one click away and allows you to add multiple functionalities to your e-commerce site.
Shopify has a small collection of add-on but they do come with an easy installation process. You can buy these add-ons from their official site, they will help make your website more powerful.
- Both free and premium versions available
- Integrate email campaign
- Add order tracking functionality
- Add chatbots
Magento marketplace is full of options and a variety of extensions. You don’t require any extensive coding knowledge to install and implement these extensions.
- Supports more than 5000 extensions
- Both free and premium versions available
- Allows you to add advertisement banners
The kind of hosting you choose will decide your site’s performance. Hosting is responsible for your site’s storage, speed, and security. If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, you will lose your customers. It can result in loss of revenue.
Shopify takes care of the hosting as it is a hosted platform. You run your e-commerce site on their hosting, hence, you are free from all those nitty-gritty problems. But you also cannot do anything other than contact their support team if you face site speed issues.
- Takes care of domain and hosting
- Allows you to concentrate on selling your products
- Provides 24*7 support
Magento has two hosting options: Open source and Cloud. In cloud hosting, your site is completely hosted and maintained by Magento. Whereas, in Open Source, you have full control, and you have to buy your domain and hosting. Also, you have the freedom to make customizations and work on your website the way you want.
- More Flexible
- Complete Freedom
5. Payment Processor
A payment processor is a third party who will handle your payments. They will take money from debit/credit cards of your customers. Since both Magento and Shopify are e-commerce platforms, they both allow you to add payment processor.
Shopify has its own payment processor that is very easy to use called Shopify Payments. By using this payment processor you won’t be charged extra transaction fee as you would in case of PayPal etc.
- Ease of payment
- Supports more than 60 external payment processors
- Allows you to track your money
The process of setting up a payment processor is completely different for Magento. The process is slightly long although easy. You will have to download the extension of the payment processor you want to add to your website. You will find these extensions in Magento marketplace.
- Allows you to add major payment processors
- Supports multi-languages
- Covers International market
You need a platform that allows you to optimize your e-commerce website SEO as this will affect your stores ranking. This is a point in Magento vs Shopify comparison in which both the platforms offer almost similar services. Both these platforms offer functionalities that will help you gain a higher ranking on SERP.
You can get all basic SEO options in Shopify. You can work on making your product pages SEO friendly. Also, on an advanced level, you can work on improving your site structure. But since Shopify is a hosted platform you cannot make any server-level configurations.
- Allows you to edit meta tags and optimize inventory
- Offers SEO dedicated Add-ons
- Ease of editing the site structure
Being a self-hosted platform, Magento allows you to optimize store design and the SEO strategy for maximum output. It offers more tools and extensions which works well even for someone who doesn’t have much knowledge about SEO techniques.
- Edit perma-links and meta tags
- Easy access to redirects, and canonical tags
- Allows you to change URLs
Shopify is a hosted platform whereas Magento is self-hosted. Overall, there are many costs involve that are common on both platforms like buying domains and themes. You may also find certain hidden costs along the way like Shopify charges 2.0% to 0.5% transaction fees for payments gateways.
All the hosting expenses are included in the monthly plan. You will have to bear certain additional cost at first like buying a theme or buying some add-ons. Shopify will provide you with a free domain name but it will look something like this: www.yoursite.myshopify.com. But if you want your own domain name you will have to buy it through a third party.
Here is the Shopify price table:
- 14 Days free trial
- Get 10-20% off with yearly subscriptions
- Free SSL
- Unlimited storage
Since Magento is a self-hosted platform, other than the domain name, you will also have to look for a hosting provider. The cost of hosting will differ as to which type of hosting and plan you go for. You need to be very careful while choosing a hosting provider as the wrong choice can lead to speed and storage problems on your e-commerce website. We do recommend going for Managed Magento Hosting providers.
- Cost specific to your need
- No hidden cost
- Allows you to host multiple stores
8. Product Management
All differences aside, Shopify and Magento are e-commerce platforms and their first job is to provide you with a product/inventory management system. There is a significant difference between the two here.
Shopify allows you to add only 2 types of products i.e. simple and configurable products. It will work great only if you have standard catalogs and are trying to sell simple products.
- Easy front-end management
- Best suited for small business
- Allows CSV import
Magento caters to medium to large size businesses. It allows you to add different variety and more complex products like configurable, bundled, downloadable and virtual products.
- Easy product management
- Best suited for medium to large business
- Allows you to add more variety of products
For us, customer support is one of the most important aspects. If you get stuck somewhere or your site starts having a problem, you need someone to rely on.
Shopify comes with dedicated customer support. You can also get help through the documentation on their official site. Although if you are looking for an extensive help and support it is also available through free and paid assistance. They will also offer you help with email, phone call or chat to solve your issues.
- 24*7 Support
- Extensive Knowledge center
- Discussion forums
Magento offers community-based support from Magento experts and developers. You can also turn to Magento Forums and Magento partner agency. If you buy managed Magento hosting, you can also get 24*7 support from their team of experts.
- Forum available
- Both free and paid expert support
The size of your business will actually determine what kind of hosting you should go for.
Shopify is a more user-friendly platform and works best for beginners but, it also comes with a lot of restrictions and caters to only small business. Magento, on the other hand, might have a little complex user interface but, it is best for businesses who are looking to grow in future.
If you decide to go with Magento, have a look at this guide that will help you choose the best hosting provider!